The Heidelberg Catechism, Introduction – Lord’s Day 1

August 30, 2008 § Leave a comment

Question 1:  What is your only comfort in life and in death?
Answer 1:  That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death,[1] am not my own,[2] but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ,[3] who with His precious blood [4] has fully satisfied for all my sins,[5] and redeemed me from all the power of the devil;[6] and so preserves me [7] that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head;[8] indeed, that all things must work together for my salvation.[9] Wherefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life,[10] and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live unto Him.[11]

1.  Rom. 14:7-8
2.  I Cor. 6:19
3.  I Cor. 3:23
4.  I Peter 1:18-19
5.  I John 1:7; 2:2
6.  I John 3:8
7.  John 6:39
8.  Matt. 10:29-30; Luke 21:18
9.  Rom. 8:28
10. II Cor. 1:21-22; Eph. 1:13-14; Rom. 8:16
11. Rom. 8:1

Q2:  How many things are necessary for you to know, that in this comfort you may live and die happily?
A2:  Three things:[1] First, the greatness of my sin and misery.[2] Second, how I am redeemed from all my sins and misery.[3] Third, how I am to be thankful to God for such redemption.[4]

1.  Luke 24:46-47; I Cor. 6:11; Titus 3:3-7
2.  John 9:41; 15:22
3.  John 17:3
4.  Eph. 5:8-11; I Peter 2:9-12; Rom. 6:11-14; 7:24-25; Gal. 3:13; Col. 3:17

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“He bore…the wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race….”

January 1, 2008 § Leave a comment

Q37: What do you understand by the word “suffered”?
A37: That all the time He lived on earth, but especially at the end of His life, He bore, in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race; in order that by His suffering, as the only atoning sacrifice, He might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and obtain for us the grace of God, righteousness and eternal life.

I want to revisit this Q&A from Lord’s Day 15 of the Heidelberg Catechism. I have already posted this but did not comment on it. This clearly shows a more moderate Calvinistic view of the suffering of Christ for the sin of the “whole human race” than is found to be more popular today. This same idea of sufficiency is also expressed in the Cannons of Dort here:

The Canons of Dort, Second Head of Doctrine
The Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby – Articles of Faith

Article 6
And, whereas many who are called by the gospel do not repent nor believe in Christ, but perish in unbelief, this is not owing to any defect or insufficiency in the sacrifice offered by Christ upon the cross, but is wholly to be imputed to themselves.

If we compare these two statements from the 3 Forms of Unity can we not properly infer that the unbelief and rejection of the gospel is “wholly to be imputed” to the unbeliever because there is nothing lacking in the atonement for him because the unbeliever, being a member of the human race, Christ in his place bore his wrath against his sin according to Q&A 37?

Blessings in Christ,
Terry W. West

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